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Countdown (or up!) to 100 Days: Ideas for Using 100 Days as a Teaching Opportunity

Even if the school year has already started for you, it is not too late to start counting up to 100 days of school. Students enjoy watching the school year pass by, but for teachers there are also many different learning activities that can take place. How you count to 100 days is entirely up to you. Whether your class puts pretend jellybeans in a poster size pretend jar or Popsicle sticks in a can, the method by which you count is not as important as the activities that accompany the counting. Check out the activities below and start counting the days with your class.

Place Value

One of the best and easiest activities associated with counting to 100 is being able to reinforce place value with your students. If you do not already use a place value chart as part of your morning routine, consider getting a pocket chart or creating a place value visual on the board. It will make it easy for students to see the daily number and where it falls on the place value chart. Getting to the hundreds column will be one of the highlights of the year!

Looking at 100

As you near 100th Day, challenge students to gather a collection of 100 of something. Provide each student with a white craft bag and ask students to brainstorm some items that they might be able to fit 100 of in the bag. Get the discussion started by asking, “Would 100 potato chips fit in this bag or would 100 apples fit in this bag?” Have students decorate their bag with a 100th Day theme, take it home to fill with 100 things, and bring it back on 100th Day. On 100th Day, have students share their collections of 100. For added fun, instruct students to guess and check their answers to such measurement questions as Whose collection do you think weighs the most? and Whose collection do you think will fit in a cup measure? and Whose collection would float?

Mad Money

Counting to 100 also offers the opportunity to explore dollars and cents. Use pennies to keep track of the days and switch them out for nickels, dimes, quarters and half-dollars at the appropriate places. This will help students get a better understanding for counting money and how the different coins can be combined to make different totals.  When they reach 100, switch out the coins for a dollar bill.

Math Facts

While addition and subtraction will start off easy, as the year progresses counting forward and backward from 100 will prove to be more challenging. You will be able to introduce single and double digit subtraction and addition, greater than/less than, word problems and more. Have students contrast and compare the numbers in anyway you can. By using the daily number it makes the math lesson practical and fun.

How do you use the count down or count up to 100 days in your classroom?

Are there activities that you come back to year after year that work for your students?

Leave a comment and share them with us below. We’d love to hear how 100 days inspire you!

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8 comments
amy lee
amy lee

I love the idea with the beta fish. That's so cute- I want to try that. We have never had a class pet and a beta should be low maintenance. Thanks for sharing!

Shannon
Shannon

I love the betta fish idea. Something new to do the last third of school. I use all the old standards with the 100's chart, straw pocket chart, but am trying to 100's zoo off of Really Good Stuff. I used to work with a teacher that did an apple pattern over her number line to 100. She used read and green apples and for the 10's she used larger apples.

Val T
Val T

We have utilized a large jar filled with water and drop marbles in to indicate 100 days's. The we add a Beta fish and have a class pet for the rest of the year. Thanks for the chance to win.

hrivera
hrivera

I'm a recycling person. What I have done is used recycled construction paper 2 colors. I cut out circles and make them into a long caterpillar across the wall. The head and every count of 5s are one color (say red), and the rest are another color (say green). You could use more than two colors if you wanted to point out other math strategies. I like the by 5s a different color than the other ones to help recognize 5s. It makes it easier to count higher numbers. I use that as a math activity and may ask students to look up on the caterpillar and count by 2s or 10s. We do this activity every week at least until we get to 100. I actually have it for as many days we are in school.

Candace
Candace

As we work to 100 days, we celebrate zero days (like the 10th, 20th, 30th, etc day of school.) The calendar person wears zero glasses, we practice counting by 2, 5 and 10, and we eat a snack that is shaped like a zero.

Cheryl s
Cheryl s

By the time we get to the 100th day of school we have practiced counting by 10's and 5's. We have also learned place value and then after that day we take numbers out of the chart and tell what is missing to help with number sense!! They love it and get to explain how they found out the number!

Carol Smith
Carol Smith

The puzzle pieces are put up in order from 1 to 100.

Carol Smith
Carol Smith

I teach Kg. and our teachers use a 100 piece puzzle to count up to 100 days. We put the puzzle together, trace around it on poster board and cut out a frame around the outline of the puzzle. Then, we number each puzzle piece in order, starting with the frame pieces and going in to the middle. Then, we put the puzzle pieces (in groups of 10) into baggies. We pull one piece out each day and use glue dots to put up on frame that is on bulletin board. The children also love trying to guess what is on the puzzle before it gets finished. This enforces one to one counting, counting by 10, and prediction. Every year is a different puzzle so siblings can't help with prediction.